Teaching EMPTY at Gordon-Conwell Jacksonville for New Testament Survey
CASKET EMPTY can be taught in a variety of settings. The material can be adjusted to the needs and interests of almost any group. I recently spent an intensive week at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, Florida. The weather was glorious. The ocean breeze was invigorating. The best part of the week, however, was the opportunity to walk through God’s redemptive plan through history each night. We gathered with seminary students, their spouses, and guests from the greater community. I really appreciate the open atmosphere of the campus where people can be exposed to seminary education. The desire to grow in Christ is contagious.
Each night, we went through one letter of the E-M-P-T-Y acronym. We felt the Lord’s presence in the class as we opened his Word together. We followed God’s story of how he built expectations for the coming of his beloved Son into the world. We traced the ministry of our Messiah in word and deed, culminating in his death and resurrection for our sins. We sensed the power of the Holy Spirit, enjoining us to be his witnesses in all the earth. We listened carefully to his teaching so that we might know his design for discipleship. We looked with confident hope toward what is yet-to-come at his glorious return.
Something special happens when we realize that the God’s plan of redemption really happened. The death and resurrection of Christ are not abstract ideas, but actual events in history. They can be studied and understood. Even more importantly, they can be believed and lived out. Our hearts were drawn to worship this week at what God has done for us in Christ. We celebrated our shared identity in Christ over Lebanese food on our last day. I am excited to see how the Lord will use these gifted men and women to make Christ known in our world today.
Dr. David L. Palmer